THANC has been able to increase the percentage of donated funds dedicated to mission-related programs for the 4th year in a row.
Administrative expenses continue to decrease for the 4th year in a row and fundraising costs are down for the 3rd consecutive year.
We provide patients with the information they need to make decisions related to their disease management while at the same time providing support for patients, family members and caregivers. The Head and Neck Cancer Guide is made up of over 2,000 pages of web content in age appropriate sections, consistent with guidelines provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. More than 30,000 cancer patients and their families access it each month.Visit the Head & Neck Cancer Guide
The Thyroid Care Collaborative (TCC) is a HIPAA compliant, cloud-based portal and disease registry that enhances the quality of care for patients with thyroid disease and improves the communication between physicians involved in their care. The TCC provides portability of information for patients and centralizes all of their relevant clinical records, allowing the involved clinicians immediate access to critical information for decision making. Data entry modules incorporate time-saving features and focus on specific aspects of thyroid cancer management. The application is also an educational tool for both patients and physicians, delivering informative videos and clinical decision making modules.
In late 2016 we began utilizing social media to broaden our reach. We post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter regularly. Follow us and get updates about research, read compelling patient stories, and learn more about the impact we have on our community
It’s estimated that 64,300 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in 2017. In September of 2016, THANC partnered with Mount Sinai Hospital for our first joint thyroid cancer screening. Experienced physicians and technicians conducted 135 screenings, including neck examinations and ultrasound. 45 of those screened were recommended for follow-up care. The team from the THANC Foundation answered questions related to thyroid disease and provided educational materials. We look forward to another successful screening this September.
Oral, head and neck cancer claims the lives of 9,500 people each year. These include cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue and jaw. THANC sponsors an oral cancer screening every year in April—Oral Cancer Awareness Month. In 2016, 71 people participated in this screening. 8 individuals were referred for follow-up care. A special thank you to Dr. Ray Chai and Dr. Alan Schwimmer who participated in the 2016 screening. Our thanks to the doctors who participated in the 2017 Oral Cancer Screening: Dr. Ilya Likhterov, Dr. Ansley Roche, and Dr. Alan Schwimmer.
The THANC Foundation sponsors an advanced training program in head and neck oncologic and reconstructive surgery. This fellowship program was accredited by the American Head and Neck Society in 2010, and has trained over 25 fellows since its inception. The fellow spends one year in the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Institute for Head and Neck and Thyroid Cancer and plays an integral role as a member of the multidisciplinary team that provides expert care to this population of patients. Learn more…
Ansley is originally from Savannah, Georgia and moved to New York to attend Columbia University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience. She worked for several years in Neuroscience and Psychiatry research at Columbia University before attending medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She completed her otolaryngology residency at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She returned to New York with her husband Brendan, an artist from Madison, CT, to complete the head and neck microvascular and reconstructive fellowship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. She will remain in academic medicine after completing her fellowship training.
This program allows physicians from around the world to experience the range of surgical procedures and patient care provided by the multidisciplinary care at the Institute for Head and Neck and Thyroid Cancer. The length of an observership can range from one day to three months.
In 2017 two observers from Spanish-speaking countries will join us as Gutierrez Scholarship recipients. Learn more…
The following year-to-date statistics reflect the demographics of our observers.
This study examines the effects of interventions on swallowing in treated head and neck cancer patients. Rehabilitation methods include tongue strengthening using the Swallow Strong device, and the Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainer (EMST) device, a respiratory training device that has been found to have A positive effect on the swallowing musculature. Outcomes include swallowing function as defined by the MBS Impairment Profile (MBSImP), a swallow profile that rates 17 physiologic components of the oropharyngeal swallow, providing an Overall Impairment score. Other outcomes in this study include diet and patient-rated quality of life.
Extranodal Extension (ENE) indicates the presence of aggressive papillary thyroid cancer. Patients with smaller metastatic lymph nodes are thought to have a decreased risk of disease recurrence, because the lymph nodes would not show Extranodal Extension (ENE). However, our research proved the contrary. We have seen that small lymph node metastases—as small as 1.5mm and even those considered subclinical and non-detectable—may harbor ENE. The fact that 12.25% of sub centimeter nodes harbored ENE challenges the current clinical philosophy of ignoring small lymph nodes. This revelation is only the tip of the iceberg. We must take the next step to find out if large and small lymph nodes with ENE exhibit different biologic behaviors.
Thyroid clinicians recently downgraded a non-aggressive cancer to a benign thyroid disease. Encapsulated Follicular Variant Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma (EFVPTC) has been renamed Non-Invasive Follicular Thyroid Neoplasm with Papillary-Like Nuclear Features (NIFTP). In light of this news, it is essential that EFVPTC patients are informed of this change to their disease status. We urge the medical community to reach out to the patients affected by this announcement. Access to this new information may benefit patients financially and psychologically.
This presentation explored the ways in which the Thyroid Care Collaborative (TCC) serves as an important resource for large-scale clinical research. Recently, three studies on aggressive features of papillary thyroid cancer used the TCC to facilitate research, which highlights the value of the TCC.
The THANC Foundation is currently involved in the advancement of a groundbreaking surgical procedure in which the thyroid is removed from the neck and safely transplanted into the forearm. Transplanting the thyroid allows for a head and neck cancer patient to receive necessary radiation therapy without the risk of impairing thyroid function. While this procedure may sound strange it has the potential to truly improve the quality of life of head and neck cancer patients.
This unique procedure has only been performed in one other pilot study at the University of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada
Imagine if you could not chew and swallow your favorite sweet treat, or fit a toothbrush into your mouth, or even pronounce your own name…Unfortunately, these are real obstacles that head and neck cancer patients may face if they suffer from reduced jaw opening, also known as trismus. Speech pathologists, like our very own Research Director, Cathy Lazarus, PhD, are hard at work trying to reduce the impact of trismus on the lives of patients. Just as we use exercise to strengthen our bodies, patients with trismus must practice their own set of exercises to improve their jaw range of motion. In this current study, the THANC Foundation is interested in finding out when is the best time to implement these exercises for an optimal outcome.
The THANC Foundation is currently involved in a unique pilot study examining an alternative method of pain relief—hypnosis. Doctors want to know if hypnosis could be a palliative care option for head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. If we can safely substitute hypnosis for prescription opioids, then we can help reduce their use thereby decreasing the potential for addiction or abuse.
A thyroid cancer surgeon, uncertain of the severity of their patient’s disease, can be faced with the difficult decision between removing part of the thyroid or all of it. If he or she elects to remove only a portion of the gland, they risk leaving remnant cancer within the intact thyroid lobe and therefore must re-operate. On the other hand, if he or she elects to remove the entire gland, they do so knowing that the patient will be on medication for the rest of their life. But what if we had a method of examining a specimen mid-operation? Well, we do and the method is called frozen section analysis. The THANC Foundation is currently involved in a study which aims to determine whether frozen section analysis could be used in thyroid cancer care to identify higher risk patients who might benefit from a completion thyroidectomy at the time of the initial surgery.
Research Associates work together on many levels and gain professional team experience by leading the development of many patient education initiatives. They spend one day per week observing thyroid and head and neck surgery in the operating room. THANC’s Research Associates follow patients throughout their entire clinical course, collect data for clinical studies, and review patient charts. Learn more…